Reverse Transcriptase and AIDS

Soon after AIDS was recognized in the early 1980s, Luc Montagneer of France and, subsequently, the American Robert Gallo determined that the causative agent was a retrovirus. Like other retroviruses, HIV-1 contains reverse transcriptase and must generate DNA. Differences between reverse

DNA sequences

thymine

thymine

hoch2 HOCH2

C/

N

H

azido thymidine (AZT)

deoxythymidine (normal DNA nucleoside)

AZT becomes incorporated into the DNA chain formed by reverse transcriptase, but the N3 groups block further replication.

AZT becomes incorporated into the DNA chain formed by reverse transcriptase, but the N3 groups block further replication.

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